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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Articles tagged: Malcolm Butler

Tom Brady wishes Malcolm Butler would have played in Super Bowl

Tom Brady

All the reports about New England Patriots players being bothered by Malcolm Butler’s benching in the Super Bowl seem to be accurate.

Tom Brady spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Santa Monica, Calif. on Monday and was interviewed by host Jim Gray. Gray asked Brady about Butler being benched in the Super Bowl. The veteran quarterback said he wished Butler had played.

“I don’t make the decisions, I wish he would’ve played but the coach decided not to play him,” Brady said.

Brady also said he didn’t realize until after the game that Butler had been benched, though he did acknowledge finding it odd that Butler was talking to him on the sidelines instead of being on the field.

“I’ll say this: For a team, this side of the room is the offense and this side is the defense,” Brady said, as transcribed by MassLive.com. “We don’t interfere with them much. I didn’t know. Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and was like ‘Come on, TB, let’s go!’ And I kept going, ‘What defense are we in where Malcolm’s not on the field?’ Is it short-yardage, goal line? And then after the game, I found out. So I just didn’t know. And I asked Malcolm and Malcolm said, ‘I don’t know. Coach has just decided something different.’ I said, ‘OK.’ So I don’t know what was a part of that decision-making, but I know we were trying to win the game. I don’t think we were trying to do anything but win.”

Brady publicly expressed his support for Butler after the Super Bowl with his social media activity. Butler has since moved on by signing with the Tennessee Titans, but the surprise benching during the Super Bowl continues to leave Patriots players feeling like they let one get away against Philly.

Report: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski still irritated over Malcolm Butler benching

Tom Brady

Reports of tension within the Patriots organization existed well before Malcolm Butler was shockingly benched for the entire Super Bowl, but Bill Belichick’s controversial decision may be the cause of much of the lingering drama in New England.

A source told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the Patriots expect both Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady to be back with the team in 2018. While speculation has been that the star players have stayed away from voluntary workouts because they are unhappy with their contract situations as well as Belichick not allowing them the freedom to train the way they want, Florio notes that the Butler decision could still be a factor.

Apart from Gronkowski’s satisfaction or lack thereof with his pay, there’s also a belief that Gronkowski, Brady, and other Patriots continue to be salty about the inexplicable — and still unexplained — benching of cornerback Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. A full eleven weeks later, coach Bill Belichick still hasn’t shed any light on the decision to use Butler for only one special-teams play and to keep him on the bench even after the Philly offense shredded the New England defense enough to force a change to the dime package during a 30-minute halftime.

Brady is said to be focusing less on football this offseason than in years past as he spends more time with his family. Gronkowski hinted over the weekend that he will be back in 2018, but he is reportedly enjoying his time away from team-sponsored workouts.

You can understand why Patriots players may feel Belichick cost them a Super Bowl win, as Butler almost certainly could have made the difference in New England’s 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. And given the way Brady and other veterans publicly supported Butler after the game, it would not be shocking to find out that they are still angry with Belichick over it.

Danny Amendola suggests Patriots players were upset with Malcolm Butler benching

Danny Amendola

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola suggested that his teammates were not happy to see cornerback Malcolm Butler benched in the Super Bowl.

Speaking to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Amendola, who has since joined the Miami Dolphins, hinted that he didn’t think much of the decision to keep Butler sidelined.

“I have my thoughts about it because I was out there putting my blood, sweat and tears out on the field that night, and one of our best players wasn’t on the field,” Amendola said. “To tell you the truth, I don’t know why. I did ask, but I didn’t get any answers. I can’t make decisions like that, so I don’t necessarily worry about it, but I know Malcolm is a great player and he could have helped us win. For whatever reason, he wasn’t out there. He’s going to play more football in his career, and he’s going to be a great player for a long time.”

Amendola added that he sensed his teammates felt similarly.

“Yeah, I did, honestly,” Amendola said. “Nobody really got an explanation for it. He’s a brother of ours. He was a brother of ours that year. And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it. With that said, I don’t know how the business aspect went into that decision. I don’t know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill [Belichick]. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day.”

It’s safe to say Patriots players were confused at the time and are still confused now. It’s very easy to see why. If a key player was held out of the biggest game of the season with no explanation, it’s probably going to frustrate his teammates.

Malcolm Butler says he wanted to confront Bill Belichick during Super Bowl

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler has handled his benching in Super Bowl LII about as well as anyone could as for, but the star cornerback experienced plenty of raw emotion while watching his teammates lose to the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, there were times during the game when he wanted to confront the coaching staff.

In an interview with Amazon’s Sports Illustrated TV channel, Butler opened up about having to restrain himself during his final game with the Patriots.

“There was times when I was on the sideline and I just wanted to go up to (Bill) Belichick or (defensive coordinator) Matt Patricia and just say, ‘This is how we gonna end this?'” Butler recalled. “I grew up in the Patriots system and I’m a man of God. I respect my authority and I just couldn’t ask them to do something they didn’t want to do.

“I just was doing my job. I was close to going up there and saying what I wanted to say to Matt or Belichick, but I just stayed in my lane and did my job. I really wanted to go ask him, but I didn’t.”

Even if the decision made absolutely no sense to outside viewers or many of his own teammates, Butler showed a great deal of self-control by putting the team before himself. He has alluded to the fact that he missed some practice time with an illness before the Super Bowl, so it’s possible Belichick felt he wasn’t prepared enough for the game. After New England’s defense was torched throughout the entire first half, Belichick should have made an adjustment and put Butler in.

That’s all in the past now, and Butler still landed a five-year contract with the Tennessee Titans that will pay him around $12 million annually. He also knows how his former teammates feel about him from some of the things they wrote on social media. While his time with the Patriots came to an unfortunate end, life could be worse for Butler.

Bill Belichick declines to talk about Malcolm Butler benching

Bill Belichick

Good luck getting any information from Bill Belichick about the Malcom Butler benching in the Super Bowl.

Belichick is at the NFL Owners meetings, which led ESPN’s Mike Reiss to ask him Sunday about the Butler benching. In typical Belichick fashion, the New England Patriots head coach declined to get into the matter.

That is Belichick’s new version of “we’re on to Cincinnati.”

There has never been an explanation for Butler’s benching given by New England’s head coach, leaving many to wonder about the reason. Two things that have become clear is that the benching had nothing to do with discipline and it caught Butler by surprise.

The cornerback has since signed with the Titans.

Malcolm Butler reportedly will sign 5-year deal with Titans

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler is headed to Tennessee in free agency, according to reports.

Butler is expected to sign with the Titans when free agency begins. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says he will receive a 5-year, $61 million deal with more than $30 million guaranteed.

Butler went undrafted in 2014 and worked his way up to become a top cornerback with the Patriots. He was the hero in their Super Bowl win over the Seahawks, but he became a huge storyline after being benched in the Super Bowl.

Despite the highly-publicized matter, Butler received plenty of interest in free agency.

Butler will join Logan Ryan as former Patriots cornerbacks to sign with the Titans in consecutive offseasons.

Lions reportedly have strong interest in Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler may not have been part of Bill Belichick’s plans for the Super Bowl, but apparently Matt Patricia is still fond of him.

NBC Sports Boston’s Michael Giardi reported on Monday that the Detroit Lions are “quite interested” in Butler.

Patricia was the defensive coordinator in New England the entire time Butler was with the team. During that time, Butler went from being undrafted to being a Super Bowl hero to being a top corner to being benched during the latest Super Bowl. After his Super Bowl benching became a controversy, Butler made it clear that reports about him breaking curfew were inaccurate.

In addition to the Lions, the Texans and Jets have been mentioned in connection with Butler.